The marketing co-op federation of Bihar, BISCOMAUN has emerged as the hero in the face of the looming urea crisis during paddy sowing season in the state. The co-operative organization is trying its best to supply urea at an unheard price of Rs 265 per bag to the farmers of the state.
While the state govt led by Nitish Kumar is blissfully unware of the crisis as he has been convinced by his team of incompetent bureaucrats that there is enough urea in the state, the helpless farmers are forced to buy urea in the black-market whenever the supply in Biscomaun sale counters get exhausted or delayed.
“Nitish only needs to go to a Biscomaun centre in the morning to gauge the situation; there are uncontrollable crowds which even local police finds tough to manage; even SDMs are seen managing the crowds at times”, said a few local reporters from the state to this correspondent.
Driving home the point once again the superiority of the co-op model compared to governmental efforts, Biscomaun Chairman Sunil Kumar Singh- a sought-after person in the wake of the urea crisis by local reporters- says” Ye Sahakar hai Sarkar nahi” ( This is cooperative not a govt scheme).
The looming crisis and Biscomaun efforts to tackle the situation have made Biscomaun and its Chairman famous overnight. As farmers gear up early morning to go to the Biscomaun sale counters, reporters of local dailies vie among themselves to interview its Chairman. His interviews have been carried by almost all the dailies including Hindustan, NBT and others.
Having grown humble in the wake of a widespread appreciation, Sunil says to Indian Cooperative “I am enjoying the mental satisfaction of helping the farmers”. Imandari me bahut maja hai boss (There is a huge reward in being honest), he adds in chaste Hindi.
The magic of Biscomaun has mostly to do with its unwavering price line of Rs 265 per bag. While urea is being sold in open market at the rate of Rs 400-500 per bag, Biscomaun has ensured that not an extra pai is taken by its staff-members. It has advertised phone numbers for lodging complaint in case of any breach in the price-line. Chairman himself monitors the phone lines as well as the supply-chain.
Amidst all this, Sunil does not forget to thank IFFCO and its MD Dr U S Awasthi for supplying urea to Biscomaun. Though, himself a Kribhco Director he does not mind selling urea of the rival co-operative. “It is the question of standing by the farmers at any cost” Sunil tries to explain away the anomaly.